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iceman
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Tournament Feedback

Postby iceman » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:49 pm

(If you don't want to read all of this,just read the "Your Feedback" section and let me know what you think about the tournaments that have finished and what you think can be improved)

After running a couple of very different tournaments, I'm starting to get a handle on what works well and what doesn't for tournaments. I'd like to share those thoughts for other people interested in running tournaments, and get feedback from players/viewers on what they think could improve.

Tournament Format
Infiltration Inc. (Riverside Tournament)
I’m sure what most of you remember about Infiltration Inc. was how long it took. It was a massive, 16 team, double elimination tournament where about 4 games were played a week, which made it take about a month in a half. On one hand, I love it being like that- it gave all teams a chance to play at least twice, and it meant that the teams that lasted longer got to face a good variety of strategies. The games being casted also made it a regular event for people not in the tournament. I really enjoyed seeing a bunch of people in Twitch chat each week watching the game.

There were definitely issues with it, though. Several teams seemed to give up after their first week, and scheduling games was a nightmare. People would often start trying to set a time the weekend they were supposed to play, then a couple of people would schedule a time, then the time would come and I’d realize that a player from each team hadn’t been reading the forum, had no idea what was going on, and never showed up. Having to make sure each game had 2 casters was just sour icing on the rotten cake. Making sure 4 games had working schedules week after week really took a lot out of me, and I’m sure the repeated scheduling and games wore many players out as well.

Oceanside Tournament
The Oceanside tournament this weekend was completely different. Only 4 teams, single elimination, and all in a single day. This was a whole lot less stressful for me. It had a set time, so I could be a lot less worried about dropouts, and it was all over fairly quickly. Once again, I think streaming the games was really fun, but it did cause a few issues. Casting all of the games meant that we couldn’t play both semifinals at the same time. Along with adding an hour to the tournament length, it also meant that the winner of the second game would have to go straight into the finals match without much of a break. From what it sounded like, that did affect Excellent Hats a bit.

Match Format
Infiltration Inc. (Riverside Tournament)
I’ll definitely admit that Infiltration Inc. had a pretty weird format that was probably too complicated, and I definitely wouldn’t suggest someone else use it. I’m pretty sure the casters saved the first round of matches in the tournament, though. I’m really, really glad they were able to explain what the score was- I think using that format would’ve blown up dramatically if it were a non-casted tournament.

If, for some reason, you are interested in using this format, I’d suggest only using it on quicker maps and putting more rounds in each set. I had a couple of players complain that a set being best out of 3 was a bit too open to chance. I got to make the finals and championship match best out of 5, which gives teams more time to adapt to each other, but that really makes the matches take a long time on Riverside.

Oceanside Tournament
For this format, I decided to use what I understand to be Counter Strike’s format. It’s extremely simple to understand, and gives both teams plenty of time to adapt to each other’s strategy. The main problem with it is that both teams don’t get the same amount of time in each role. In fact, in the worst case a team might only play one game in a certain role. This is a bigger issue on maps where one side has the advantage (like Oceanside is to a small extent, apparently). While there actually isn’t an advantage mathematically to either team, going into the second half as Intruders while you’re losing 1-5 feels pretty terrible and makes you more likely to play worse, even though you’re just as likely to then go 5-1.

Casting
Both of my tournaments have been casted, and I really like how they’ve turned out. Like I said before, it’s something that lets the whole community experience the tournament in some way, and it also lets players in the tournament see their games from a different angle. I think it also can make people better players- in both tournaments, I saw several tricks, such as rigs or places to snipe, that I never knew about before.

Casting can also make the games move a lot smoother (at least when the stream itself isn’t falling apart- I’ll get to that later). Having someone who can keep track of the score, knows the rules and can make impartial calls, and just handle general disruptions is very useful.

We can definitely improve the casting, though. Probably the biggest fix would be to actually run through the setup before the tournament starts, making sure that the sound, stream layout, and any fancy effects you might have are working fine (basically, do a test stream and have one or two other people watch it to make sure everything’s fine). I think the commentary from both tournaments (mine definitely included ;) ) can be improved as well. I’m sure we’ll get better with practice, but I think we can work towards both being more engaging and talking about the strategy being displayed by both teams along with narrating what’s happening.

(That being said, nearly the only thing that I watch videos of is Hearthstone. Since that’s a completely different type of game, the slow discussion of strategy accompanied by a whole lot of bad jokes and irrelevant taking might not fit with Intruder. I should probably watch some CS matches to see what that style of casting is like)

I definitely think you need a third person running admin along with the two casters. They can watch the stream and chat to make sure everything is working fine, and if something goes wrong can hop into the TeamSpeak to alert the streamers.

Future
So, if you’re interested in running a tournament, I hope all of this information helps you decide what you’re going to do. If you’re not thinking about running a tournament, I’d advise you to think about it. Although it’s a lot of work, it can be a whole lot of fun. The IntruderTournaments Youtube and Twitch accounts are free for anybody to use (for tournaments)- just send me a PM to get the password.

As for me, I think I’m going to experiment a bit more with formats to see what works better. What I’m going to do next is probably 8 teams playing at set times over the weekend, with no casters, to see how that works out.

Your Feedback
So, now that I’ve posted my giant wall of thoughts on tournaments, I want to hear what your thoughts are. Whether you played in either tournament or just watched them, let me know what you think worked, didn’t work, or will work.

I especially want to hear what you think a good match format is. Preferably, it should give both teams similar amount of time in each role, it should give both teams enough time to adjust to each other in a role, and it should be simple (to understand and to actually do). I also want your feedback on the casting. What you like about it, what you think can be improved, and what you want from the cast.
Last edited by iceman on Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:12 am, edited 3 times in total.

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FleshyPig
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Re: Tournament Feedback

Postby FleshyPig » Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:19 pm

I would've loved to watch and play this tourny, but i've gotten myself i lot of noteriety and i didn't send any of my DB crew in. I love you for doing this tourney, i loved both you've done a stellar job with these tournies, i watched the gameplay of this one and it was so organised. The last one was fun but this one seemed a lot better, good job.

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Kahvikone
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Re: Tournament Feedback

Postby Kahvikone » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:09 pm

Infiltartion Inc. Riverside
The scheduling was a nightmare and having to wait for substitutes when game was already supposed to be ongoing was a tedious. Some people lacked the commitment (one guy went to get drunk 30 minutes before a match for example) and just never showed up. The double elimination was kind of a fun touch since eliminated teams got a chance to get revenge and to reclaim their honor.

Scoring in the Riverside consisted of three sets at first and later it was changed to five. This change in the middle of a tournament was not welcomed by me. It forced us to hastily make new plans for the possible extra rounds and made it more difficult. I agree that three sets out of five was better but it should not have been changed during the tournament.

Ocean Side
Doing the tournament in a smaller time span was a good idea. I just think that playing everything back to back was a bit much. After playing an intense match against Kool Kids Klan, I was already really exhausted. I barely had time to run to kitchen for a glass of water when the next match was already starting. This combination of tiredness and extended serious play was a bit too much and our team pretty much lost interest during the second match. First match started 11pm for us and the second one finished after 2am.

The scoring in this one was really weird and I personally did not like it at all. I much preferred the Riverside way.

The stricter rules about subbing was a good thing. We didn't have to wait hours for a substitute that might never come. I would like to see this rule enforced in the next tournament as well.

Other things
I personally would like to ask for stricter rules during the post game interview. Trying to listen to questions and answering them is hard when people are ragdolling, running around and shooting next to you. Disruptive players should be warned once and after that kicked from the whole tournament, or banned from participating in the next match. I'm looking at you Implix.

Casters should be even more active in informing players what is going on. People watching the stream can see the score live and know when it is time for warm up and so on. There was confusion in both tournaments about if the round being played was live or not.

If Ocean Side is played in a tournament, should the guards be given a head start to fortify the house? Rushing felt a bit too effective.

Maybe the next tournament could be arranged in a period of one weekend or two weekends. This would give time for teams to organize their strategies according to the enemy team. Hats did a lot of recon work in the first tournament to counter other teams strategies. We simply had no way to properly do that in the Ocean Side tournament which in my opinion diminished the experience slightly.

Maybe the winning team would get to do a formal firing squad execution of the losing team after the post game interview?

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Re: Tournament Feedback

Postby Rekedens » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:16 pm

I really liked the first tournament. It lasted over a month, which felt good, but I know it probably sucked for the admin people. Haha. But it felt big and exciting. Getting play dates was hard, and it ended up being a bust for us because I was the only Fox to show up and we have to get subs (shout out to storm and tag!) and on our third game I couldn't make it because I broke down an hour away from home.

The second tournament didn't feel as big or exciting, but being able to play in a day was great. Since I always work weekends and get up at 2:30am every morning, having time to play can be hard for me and finishing a tournament in a day was almost a relief because I didn't have to worry about setting up a time the next day.
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Re: Tournament Feedback

Postby Thisisnotatag » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:18 pm

Kahvikone wrote:
I personally would like to ask for stricter rules during the post game interview. Trying to listen to questions and answering them is hard when people are ragdolling, running around and shooting next to you. Disruptive players should be warned once and after that kicked from the whole tournament, or banned from participating in the next match. I'm looking at you Implix.



I honestly think goofing around during the post game interview helps lighten up the mood. The competitors just spent like 20-40 minutes play a bunch of stressful rounds, so perhaps a solution to this would be to give them like 5-10 minutes to calm down then proceed with the post game interview.
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Re: Tournament Feedback

Postby OpticalF3AR » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:22 pm

Thisisnotatag wrote:
Kahvikone wrote:
I personally would like to ask for stricter rules during the post game interview. Trying to listen to questions and answering them is hard when people are ragdolling, running around and shooting next to you. Disruptive players should be warned once and after that kicked from the whole tournament, or banned from participating in the next match. I'm looking at you Implix.



I honestly think goofing around during the post game interview helps lighten up the mood. The competitors just spent like 20-40 minutes play a bunch of stressful rounds, so perhaps a solution to this would be to give them like 5-10 minutes to calm down then proceed with the post game interview.


I think he is referring to how bad the Excellent Hats vs. Cool Kids Clan post interview was https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLcd6RGk0kM That just cant happen again. But I dont think it should be completely serious, it should be light and more of a breather.
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Re: Tournament Feedback

Postby Enemby » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:36 pm

I was only able to participate in the second tournament, so keep in mind my feedback is only from that:

I think for the next tournament we should have non-team specific substitute players, since pretty much every team needed a new team member, but quite a few were already reserved for other teams.

I'd like Intruder to patch in some more "spectator friendly" features, such as a HUD showing who is alive, with more obvious usernames and viewable health. Watching the tournament, it was really unclear who was who, or even the tactics each player was using. I think spectators being able to eavesdrop on radio chat is important too.

I don't know if there was a pot for this tournament, but I'd like there to be something, (like for example a limited edition hat, or gift codes. I can also donate steam keys to random games occasionally.) since I didn't see much motivation for players to play at their best.

Some sort of non-IRC notification system would be great, since I didn't seem to get any emails or anything (that I didn't have to look for) to update me (and others) on the tournament.

I'd say this tournament's stream was pretty low in production value compared to the Infiltration Inc tournament.

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Re: Tournament Feedback

Postby R3vo » Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:24 pm

I really liked the first tournaments format, as a player towards the end it did get a little annoying having a match every week so it would be nice to extend it to one match every two weeks during the final four that way it guarantees each map is played with no subs and casters are there to present the match. Also allows players and casters to watch previous matches to help with strategy.

On the match format I feel like each team needs to have an even amount of time on both teams. The first tournaments format was ok but it seemed to drag on after the 5 rounds per set was added.

I think it would be a good idea to have teams of casters for the next tournament that way the casters know how to work together.

I would like to see a tournament like the first sometime this summer, maybe mid April to mid June.
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Re: Tournament Feedback

Postby granate07 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:25 am

I agree with almost every point that Kahvikone made. The formatting and principle of Infiltration Inc. was good, but dragged on for far too long. I liked the change from best of 3 to best of 5, as it allowed a lot more time to adjust to the enemy. But just like Kahvikone said, it made things more complicated due to the sudden change, planning, for those that did it, had to cover a lot more aspects. I personally liked the concept of sets more than rounds, as each team gets equal chances and thus made planning easier aswell, since you cannot predict how many rounds you will be playing on each side with the round system. I also enjoyed Riverside far more in terms of balance and general structure. I feel like Oceanside is far better suited for casual-ish play, as the general openess, short distance, vantage points, access into the house from pretty much anywhere and inability to move through the house without the staircase make it, in my opinion, not such a great tournament map.

In terms of time, it would be preferable that each team plays in a day or two, then played again a couple of days later. The sudden change in Oceanside made things a lot harder, since we were already exhausted, tired and generally had no time to prepare for that match.

In terms of casting, I would prefer that casters prepare themselves aswell, I heard quite a lot of false information or no information at all in certain areas, what casters focused on wasn't always ideal either. What I did like was the short description that Tehbucket gave at the start of the Meh vs Ckc match.


Overall though, I do like the tournaments. A lot. It gives me an opportunity to do what I generally cannot do, or would be a waste of time in other situations.

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Re: Tournament Feedback

Postby iceman » Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:05 pm

Thanks for all of the feedback, everyone! Keep it coming.

Unexpected changes seem to be a big issue, whether changes to the format, delays, or sub issues. I'll definitely do my best to keep those to a minimum in future tournaments.

I'm honestly a bit surprised people liked the Riverside match format better than the Oceanside one. It sounds like the biggest issue with Oceanside was that you don't get equal amount of time on each role. If the teams swapped several times instead of once (say, swapping after every round or after 3 rounds), do you think that will feel better?

For casting, next time I'll remind the casters *before* the game starts to be communicative with the players, and to make sure players aren't too disruptive during interviews. I actually never planned for interviews in either tournament, although I should've known better for the second =P

Enemby, what kind of things are you wanting for the notifications to include? I can bring back the Steam group for tournament announcements and events for the matches, and I could send forum PM's a day before the tournament to remind everyone about it.

How does everyone feel about subs? I'd prefer having no subs, honestly, since it could be unfair to other teams and can delay games quite a bit. I could see why it'd be good to have them for the first round of matches- having a few subs ready for any team is a good idea. I'm definitely against subbing after your first match, however.

Kahvikone and Granate07, you're both against playing more than one match in a day. I feel like that's partly my fault with how I ran this tournament, so I'd like to ask you something. If:
  • All teams played at the same time, so no team has a significantly longer break than another
  • You were guaranteed a 5-10 minute break between each game
  • You wouldn't have to stay around for more than 2-3ish hours in a day (because of shorter match lengths or fewer matches)
would you be fine with that setup (or at least not terribly against it)?

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Re: Tournament Feedback

Postby Rekedens » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:08 pm

I think it's incredibly useful having a set time for playing, and the Ocean Side game seemed like a really good time (for me anyway).
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Re: Tournament Feedback

Postby Kahvikone » Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:34 am

Post game interview
I would like the interview part to be more serious and after that the goofing could start. Riverside tournament had that zero gravity action interview part almost after every match.

Tournament format
I would be willing to play multiple matches in one day if there was a longer break between the matches. 1-2 hours would be the best. It would let the players take a breather, discuss tactics and have a short training run on their tactics if they wanted to.

I also agree on the set timing. The tourney matches started 11pm for me. The more there are matches, the later I need to stay up. This blocks me from working that night or the next day, luckily I get to make my own work schedules. Earlier play time would make things easier for us eurotrash.

HUD suggestions
I think the HUD shouldn't be placed on the lower left corner. It blocks the viewers from seeing who is talking. Implementing some kind of a tournament system with a specialized HUD would be nice, but that would require extra effor on the devs part. I think they have more important features to work on currently.

Prize pool
We did collect a prize pool for the Riverside tournament. We didn't do it this time. Giving out gift codes to winners would be nice but the devs are not obliged to do that. This is a fan run tournament.
I would be willing to make a price pool for the next tournament.

I'm against placing entry fees (games or money) on the tournaments since that would probably diminish the amount of people participating.

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Re: Tournament Feedback

Postby TehBucket » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:12 am

Casting:
I really enjoyed casting and i'd recommend it for all tournaments, but given the current servers it limits the teams to 3v3 (spectator slots, rab?). We always have some technical issue with the stream, so preparing/testing stream will be pretty important.

One thing we tend to neglect is making sure the viewers AND players know whether a match is live or practice. We usually admin-chat "LIVE" and "live after reset", but it would be moderately easy for a live status to be added to the stream (in OBS) the same way we update the score, the co-caster can edit it, we've done that a few times. Another thing is to mention, in the comments of the recorded youtube match, where in the video the real matches actually start. The match recordings are great video example of Intruder to potential new players, but viewers might be turned off by seemingly pointless practices and technical stream issues.

One thing i noticed in the oceanside tournament is that lots of the live viewers got tired and left before the end, it's a bit much to sit through, and if you start at the beginning and leave early you miss the finals, which are usually the most interesting.

Interview:
I think the best way to deal with overly disruptive players in an interview is to arrest the offender, a silly and effective solution.
On the other hand, it could be easier just to have everyone get in teamspeak with the casters, so if someone dies/crashes/whatever, teams can still talk. Also, there's always a bit of a delay for the interview when leaving server/rejoining just to get in the game (rab pls)

Prizes:
Donated steam keys are always nice, but i think people would like competing for recognition more than anything. A "tournament winner" tag on your profile, maybe some other identifying clues as to your awesomeness ingame/forums. (special hat plz rab?)

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Re: Tournament Feedback

Postby Enemby » Sun Mar 29, 2015 11:49 pm

Late response (I forgot about it) but Iceman, I think the notification ideas you mentioned would be great. I'd probably just do forum PMs though, since managing all that media would be frustrating.


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